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FROM THE DESERTED VILLAGE.
YE friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey
The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay,
'Tis yours to judge how wide the limits stand
Between a splendid and a happy land.
Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
And shouting folly hails them from her shore;
Hoards, e'en beyond the miser's wish, abound;
And rich men flock from all the world around.
Yet count our gains: this wealth is but a name
That leaves our useful product still the same.
Not so the loss: the man of wealth and pride
Takes up a space that many poor supplied;
Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds:
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth,
Has robbed the neighb'ring fields of half their growth;
His seat, where solitary sports are seen,
Indignant spurns the cottage from the green;
Around the world each needful product flies,
For all the luxuries the world supplies;
While thus the land, adorn'd for pleasure all,
In barren splendour feebly waits the fall.
As some fair female, unadorn'd and plain,
Secure to please while youth confirms her reign,
Slights ev'ry borrow'd charm that dress supplies,
Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes;
But when those charms are past (for charms are frail),
When time advances, and when lovers fail,
She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,
In all the glaring impotence of dress.
Thus fares the land, by luxury betrayed,
In nature's simplest charms at first arrayed,
But, verging to decline, its splendours rise,
Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise;
While, scourged by famine, from the smiling land,
The mournful peasant leads his humble band;
And while he sinks, without one arm to save,
The country blooms-a garden and a grave!
Where then, ah where, shall poverty reside,
To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride?
If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd,
He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,
Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,
And e'en the bare-worn common is denied.
If to the city sped-what waits him there?
To see profusion that he must not share!
To see ten thousand baneful arts combined
To pamper luxury, and thin mankind;
To see each joy the sons of pleasure know
Extorted from his fellow-creature's woe.
Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade,
There the pale artist plies the sickly trade;
Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomp display,
There the black gibbet glooms beside the way.
The dome where pleasure holds her midnight reign,
Here, richly deck'd, admits the gorgeous train;
Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square,
The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare.
Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy!
Sure these denote one universal joy!
Are these thy serious thoughts? Ah, turn thine eyes
Where the poor houseless shivering female lies.
She once, perhaps, in village plenty blest,
Has wept at tales of innocence distress'd;
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn;
Now lost to all; her friends, her virtue fled,
Near her betrayer's door she lays her head;
And pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the show'r,
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour
When, idly first, ambitious of the town,
She left her wheel, and robes of country brown.
THE ENTHUSIAST AND THE HAWKERS.
How beautiful to stand upon the hill,
And look with placid rapture on the skies,
Letting the chastened soul imbibe its fill
Of*-Here, my customers, my nice hot pies!
Here meditation, with its gentle voice,
Upon the unfettered spirit blandly calls,
And offers unto each lull'd heart the choice
Of Now, then, four a-penny brandy balls!
While raised above the city's noise, you spurn
Its mean contentions :-feeling you defy them,
Your breast is full of higher thoughts! ah, learn
In time to-Crack and try before you buy them!
* The transition of the speaker's tone must be rapid: the interrupting call must be in the tone familiar to those who know the peculiar cries of the small vendors in the streets of London.
Ah, yes! this rural and exalted spot
Each holier feeling, with a sigh, calls
Back on your mind: the world seems half forgot,
As if some saint were present.-Fine St. Michaels!
Each turbid passion,-hate, revenge, and spleen,-
Subside at once; for anger lives not here,
But dies amid the glories of the scene,
And soon lies buried with the-Ginger beer!
Yet, melancholy though the scene inspire,
Still animated feelings 'twill produce :
And oft such meditation nobly fires
The breast with vivid fancies.-Spruce, O, Spruce!
But now the shades of eve come on apace :
And in the plain below the sheep-bell tinkles;
Night draws the veil o'er nature's beauteous face;
Sol seeks his ocean bed of-Perriwinkles!
MOST funny, droll, and laughing company,
My very jocular, and boon companions,
That I did kiss the maid beneath yon misletoe
Is true; true, that she couldn't help it.
The very height of all my naughtiness
Is really that no more. Rude am I in company,
And little blessed with the cool chaff, called love;
For since these arms of mine were round her neck
Till now, some fortnight past, they've done the same again;
And nothing of my conquests can I speak,
More than pertains to kissing and the like;
So that but little shall I mend my case
In speaking for myself;-yet give me time,
And I will tell you out a tale so droll,
Of my whole course of love—what sprees, what larks,
(For with such actions you have charged me),
I have been guilty of.
Her mother loved me; oft invited me;
And asked me all the wonders I had seen,
E'en from my getting up, to the late hour of my going to bed.
I told her all-of my repeated broils
Of 'scaping from police across the fields,
Of being robbed of alleys and of tawers,
Of my redeeming them-and of the boys I choused.
In course of which of some most funny sights
I was compelled to speak :—this was my plan.
And of the butchers, who did sell most shocking meat,
And of some honest lawyers, funny men, whose heads
Were painted underneath their arıns. To hear these tales
Did Desdemona's fancy seem to tickle.
Yet still her mother's babe would call her off,
Which hastily with pap she comforted,
And hurried back again, and calling me, a love!
Said "Well! what's next."-This I set down,
And took the nick of time to make her ask
That I would tell her all my funny tricks,
Which she had only heard in parts before,
Not of a lump. I did at once agree,
And often did she pipe her pretty eye,
When I some sad disaster did relate,
That I had met with. When all was told,
She gave me for my trouble such a kiss,
And vow'd, indeed, 'twas droll, 'twas very droll,
'Twas funny, 'twas particularly funny;
She wish'd I hadn't made her laugh so.-Then she wish'd
That she could marry such a man: she coughed ;
And asked me, if I knew a very nice young man,
I'd teach him how to tell the story of my life,
And she'd accept him. On this hint, I popp'd;
She lov'd me for the jokes that I had play'd,
And I loved her, because she laughed at them;
This is the only conjuring I used.-J. O,
THERE is yon house that holds the parish poor,
Whose walls of mud scarce bear the broken door;
There, where the putrid vapours flagging play,
And the dull wheel hums doleful through the day:
There children dwell, who know no parents' care;
Parents, who know no children's love, dwell there;
Heart-broken matrons on their joyless bed,
Forsaken wives, and mothers never wed;
Dejected widows, with unheeded tears,
And crippled age, with more than childhood fears!
The lame, the blind, and, far the happiest they!
The moping idiot, and the madman gay.
Here, too, the sick their final doom receive,
Here brought, amid the scenes of grief, to grieve:
Where the loud groans from some sad chamber flow,
Mix'd with the clamours of the crowd below:
Here, sorrowing, they each kindred sorrow scan,
And the cold charities of man to man:
Whose laws indeed for ruin'd age provide,
And strong compulsion plucks the scrap from pride;
But still that scrap is bought with many a sigh,
And pride embitters what it can't deny.
Say, ye oppress'd with some fantastic woes,
Some jarring nerve that baffles your repose,
Who press the downy couch, while slaves advance
With timid eye, to read the distant glance;
Who with sad prayers the weary doctor tease,
To name the nameless ever-new disease;
Who with mock-patience dire complaints endure,
Which real pain, and that alone, can cure;
How would ye bear to draw your latest breath,
Where all that's wretched paves the way for death.
Such is that room which one rude beam divides,
And naked rafters form the sloping sides;
Where the vile bands that bind the thatch are seen,
And lath and mud are all that lie between;
Save one dull pane, that, coarsely patch'd, gives way
To the rude tempest, yet excludes the day:
Here, on a matted flock, with dust o'erspread,
The drooping wretch reclines his languid head;
For him no hand the cordial cup applies,
Nor wipes the tear that stagnates in his eyes;
No friends with soft discourse his pain beguile,
Nor promise hope till sickness wears a smile.
HANNIBAL TO HIS SOLDIERS.
I KNOW not, soldiers, whether you or your prisoners be encompassed by fortune with the stricter bonds and necessities. Two seas enclose you on the right and left-not a ship to flee to for escaping. Before you is a river broader and more rapid than the Rhone; behind you are the Alps. Here, then, soldiers, you must either conquer or die, the very first hour you meet the enemy. But the same fortune which has laid you under the necessity of fighting, has set before your eyes those rewards of victory, than which no men are ever wont to wish for, greater from the